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Gastric Emptying (Solid or Liquid)

A Gastric Emptying Study measures the speed with which food leaves the stomach and enters the small intestine. Gastric emptying studies are done to diagnose symptoms that may be related to slow or rapid emptying of the stomach.

What to Bring

  • Your hysician order (your physician may have already sent this to us)
  • Personal ID
  • Insurance Cards
  • Medication List

How to Prepare

  • Narcotic pain relievers, Reglan (metoclopramide), Nexium and erythromycin along with other stomach medications should not be taken 48 hours before your study. The list is quite extensive. Do not stop any medication unless you have spoken with your physician. If you have further questions regarding medications you can call us at (985) 230-1140 or (985) 230-7245.
  • Please do not eat or drink for 12 hours prior to your study.
  • For diabetics, monitor your blood glucose. This should be maintained near normal levels below 200.
  • The exam could last up to 4 hours with images taken at specific intervals during this time. Each image only takes 60 seconds with an hour of wait in between each image. We want your waiting time in between the images to be as pleasant as possible. Consider bringing a magazine, book or music player to help you pass the time.
  • Please inform the technologist if you are pregnant.
  • If you wear an on-body device (insulin pump, insulin regulators, Neulasta, other chemo/insulin devices, etc.), you must inform your technologist.

What to Expect

  • Upon arrival, the technologist will explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have.
  • For a “solid” study, you will be given a scrambled egg with toast, jelly and butter with a tiny amount of radioactive substance to allow imaging. For those that are allergic to eggs, we will serve oatmeal.
  • For a “liquid” study, you will drink a glass of water with a tiny amount of radioactive material to allow imaging.

After the Exam

  • There are no post-exam instructions. You may resume your medications as directed by your physician or nurse.
  • Your study will be reviewed by a Radiologist and the results sent to your physician. Your physician will discuss these results with you.